How long a truck accident lawsuit takes varies from case to case. However, it could be weeks, months, or even years from when your accident occurs before you secure personal injury compensation through an insurance settlement or civil court verdict.
A truck accident lawyer from our firm can guide you through the process of filing a truck accident lawsuit. The legal process can be tricky to manage by yourself, and luckily, you don’t have to.
What Factors Affect the Length of Your Truck Accident Case?
Truck accident cases can be more complex and drawn out than accidents involving passenger vehicles. One reason for this is that commercial vehicle accidents usually involve multiple parties, including the liable driver and their employer. In addition, large truck collisions often involve severe and fatal injuries due to the size and weight of the truck.
Other factors that can affect how long a truck accident lawsuit takes include the following:
To win your case, you will need to prove that a negligent party caused your injuries and damages. Doing this can take time and may involve:
- Locating and interviewing eyewitnesses
- Hiring and consulting with subject matter experts, like crash reconstructionists, doctors, and economists
- Obtaining police reports, medical records, and other documents
- Visiting the accident site to collect physical evidence and take photographs
- Sending spoliation letters to the trucking company and other parties demanding they preserve evidence, such as driver’s logs, alcohol and drug screening results, and the truck’s “black box” recording device
- Gathering bills, pay stubs, receipts, invoices, and estimates to prove your current damages and expected future losses
- Bolstering your case with state and federal laws and trucking regulations
Most auto accident cases, including truck accidents, begin with an insurance claim. However, getting fair compensation via a settlement can be a difficult and drawn-out process. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and will usually prioritize their bottom line above your best interests.
Therefore, the insurer’s initial payment offer will likely benefit them more than you or your family. Reaching an agreement may require lengthy negotiations, especially if the insurance company plays hardball.
Whether or Not the Case Goes to Trial
You can sue for damages if you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company. And, in some instances, you may skip filing an insurance claim altogether and proceed straight to taking legal action.
Either way, once you file a lawsuit, it begins a process that involves exchanging information with the opposing party, depositions, pre-trial negotiations, and more. If you settle before trial, your case will take less time. If not, that will also add to the duration. In addition, the court’s schedule will affect your lawsuit’s timeline.
Texas’s Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Lawsuits
Another factor that affects all personal injury lawsuits is the statute of limitations. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you generally have up to two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
If the deadline expires, the court will likely dismiss your case. Missing the deadline will also reduce your insurance bargaining power and could lead to a reduced settlement or denied claim. Therefore, we recommend starting on your case as soon as you can following your accident.
Can Working With a Truck Accident Attorney Speed Things Up?
There are some elements of a truck accident lawsuit an attorney cannot control, like the court’s docket and the actions of the insurance company or opposing legal counsel. While a lawyer can’t make your lawsuit move any faster, they can make the legal process less confusing. An experienced attorney will know how to help you handle important case tasks.
For example, a truck accident attorney with our firm can:
- Investigate your accident and collect evidence
- Identify liable parties
- Identify and calculate your damages
- Prepare and file your insurance claim or lawsuit
- Handle case-related meetings, phone calls, and emails
- Represent you during appearances and appear for you when possible
- Aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement
- Stand up to bad-faith tactics or unjust attempts to stall your case
What Damages Can You Recover With a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
You can seek compensation for the following personal injury damages after a truck accident:
- Current and future medical bills, including the cost of ambulance transportation, emergency services, hospital stays, surgeries, medical devices and mobility aids, physical therapy, and long-term nursing
- Lost income, for the time you needed to spend away from work
- Lost earning capacity, if you suffered a debilitating or catastrophic injury that alters your ability to work
- Non-economic damages, including permanent and disabling injuries, scarring, disfigurement, mental and emotional distress, inconvenience, and diminished quality of life
- Vehicle repairs or your car’s fair market value if the damages are a total loss
- Wrongful death, including your loved one’s medical bills, lost income, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of their support, services, society, and companionship
Who Is Liable for Your Truck Accident Damages?
Depending on the cause of your collision, liability for your truck accident could rest with a commercial driver, their employer (i.e., the trucking company), the owner/loader of the vehicle’s cargo, a manufacturer, or even the entity in charge of the roadway. Causes of truck accidents may include:
- Driver intoxication
- Driver inexperience or inattention
- Violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations
- Violation of the Texas Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division regulations
- Driver fatigue or noncompliance with FMCSA Hours of Service
- Overloaded, unsecured, or falling cargo
- Faulty or improperly connected trailer hitches
- Lack of underride guards and other safety equipment
- Lack of vehicle inspections, repairs, or maintenance
- Blown tires, defective brakes, and other mechanical issues
- Roadway problems, such as broken traffic lights or missing/obstructed signs
Contact Domingo Garcia to Get Started on Your Truck Accident Case Today
The sooner you reach out to Domingo Garcia, the sooner a:
with our firm can get started on your case. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about our services. A member of our team is available to take your call now, and we can assist you in Spanish.